“Adoption—picking up the pieces from here on after”

Judith Land | Adoption Detective | Martin Hudacek

For those who suffer the heartaches, barrenness and desolation of parent-child separation, life is about pain, mercy and forgiveness. Sculpture by Martin Hudacek.

Some adoptees are like glass—opaque, darkened, and difficult to see through. The past is mysterious, paradoxical and unfathomable to them. Their lives are confusing, ambiguous and semi-transparent. Relationships are perplexing and contradictory and events of yesteryear are obscure and incomprehensible because the truth has been hidden from them. Incongruity creates confusion and a solicitous sense of abandonment.

They stand by the window forlornly looking through the pane (pain) on an overly melancholic kind of day, wondering if the raw feelings of spiritual emptiness that plagues their soul will ever wane. Their memories are cloaked in haziness and mist. They shroud and veil their sense of being and hide their unfeigned emotions about the pivotal events in the springtime of their life because the memories of the earliest days are distressing, blurred, and abstracted. Their external facade is an illusion, a pretense, and a masquerade manifested to conceal their lonely countenance from others. They are as fragile as stained glass, colorful and nice to look at, and opaque enough to allow others to see through the cracks and stains and cobwebs, but not enough to truly know the soul of the human being inside.

Not knowing their true self-identity, place of origin, culture, language, dynasty, and heritage are troubling and make it difficult for them to crystalize and elucidate their deepest thoughts. Images of the past stimulates a nostalgic sense of a bygone era, a disharmonious time that stirs up murkiness, mysteriousness, and dreams. Thinking about the life and relationships they might have had, or wished for, creates a clash between their public persona and their subconscious mind. Who were the individuals from long ago, they wonder, that so drastically altered life’s trajectory through no fault of their own? Why did this happen? Who will love them now? Will the joys of other kindred souls, bringing the gifts of unconditional love and grace today, be enough to help them make it through the day, and overcome the perils and obstacles still lingering from yesterday?

Adoption has many facets on all sides of the adoption triangle with enduring collateral side effects that may last an entire lifetime. When a true self-identity is lacking, relationships may turn sour, become toxic, or even go missing altogether, leaving many wanders and seekers prone to falling through the trapdoor of despondency. Lacking energy and focus, they may have trouble maintaining concentration, spontaneity, or interest in life. Their hearts are as brittle as glass, and when shattered, they are at of risk of being left alone from here on after to pick up all the pieces in solitude. When we see their pain, do we look the other way and feign not to know—or sincerely ask ourselves, “What can I do to help this wandering soul overcome the strife of separation and build a better life?”

Judith Land, Adoptee



adopción | verabschiedung | 采纳 | adozione | 양자 | تبني | a ghlacadh | benimseme


About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
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19 Responses to “Adoption—picking up the pieces from here on after”

  1. LoveForGrace says:

    Reblogged this on LOVEFORGRACE.ORG and commented:
    By: Judith Land … This is really how it feels .

  2. eagoodlife says:

    Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    ‘Not knowing their true self-identity, place of origin, culture, language, dynasty, and heritage are troubling and make it difficult for them to crystalize and elucidate their deepest thoughts. Images of the past stimulates a nostalgic sense of a bygone era, a disharmonious time that stirs up murkiness, mysteriousness, and dreams’

  3. Lara/Trace says:

    I shared at Lara-Oar on blogger – thank you, thank you

  4. Only Me says:

    That is so heartbreaking to me as mother. Indeed, I still have horrible nightmares of being forced to surrender a baby for adoption by a delusional, arrogant asshole of a social worker! Adopters, in particular, like to portray everything as being fairy tale perfect. But when you read it from the adoptees POV, and that they are more likely to end up committing suicide, it just rips and tears at your heart until you can’t take anymore! I’m so sorry for all the pain you are feeling!

    • Judith Land says:

      Only Me, It is difficult for mothers and children to understand the reason for the lifelong punishment of separation. To mothers who grieve, I send assurances that not everyone has forgotten them, especially not their children. Self-determination is the God-given right of all individuals and many of whom when grown, will think of their birth parents with growing wisdom and in the spirit of forgiveness. Judith

  5. Susan Laine says:

    Finding my birth family was a joy and a curse. I realized a lifelong dream, but soon discovered that I come from a long line of dreadful people. (Poorly educated con artists and felons) 😔

    • Judith Land says:

      Susan, Understanding human nature, behaviorism, and determinism has been the primary topic of philosophy and theology since the beginning of time. Perhaps, it is more important to honor our ancestors because they had the intelligence to survive wars, diseases, plagues, and avoid natural disasters over the millennium, rather than critique or worry about their character, competency, or examine their life choices too closely. After all, life is about fate and circumstances, as well as choices and good fortune. Most family trees have multiple branches filled with rogues, charlatans, picaroons, and ne’er-do-wells, as well as, a clustering of distinguished world-beaters, leaders, and trailblazers. My own tree being no exception. I hope you will happily and optimistically continue to discover the other branches of your tree with further investigation, and discover others such as yourself who are intelligent, responsible, persons of good character like you. Judith

  6. This eloquently describes what I’ve fought against my whole life.

  7. I have felt this way my entire 44 years of life. I knew from an early age I was adopted. It was something my parents never kept from me because I was always the one who felt on the outside looking into what ever was there. While my brothers and sisters were analytical and reason thinkers I was the artist and the one filled with music and logic. I didn’t conform and for the longest time I wondered if I were crazy because I didn’t. I wanted to know who my birth mother was and when the laws changed in Ohio so my birth certificate could be sent to me, I jumped at the chance. I am wondering now if that was the right thing to do and if I should have just left it alone. I have biological family members who don’t live very far from me, in fact, one that lives 2 miles away. My birth mom committed suicide over the idea of me being taken from her. I was “taken” from her by her father. She already had mental issues and her dad was afraid she wouldn’t do well with a child. She never married and never had any other kids. I feel she was selfish in killing herself and her father was selfish for taking me away from her because of his own feelings and not hers. But with my adopted family, I had a VERY GOOD LIFE. I have NO REGRETS with them and they ARE my family more than the others. Irony, everyone would tell me “gosh you look just like Irene, your mom” I would tell them, “that isn’t possible, I was adopted.” When I finally saw a picture of my biological grandmother, I was amazed because she looked just like my adopted mother, down to the tee. So now, I can say, without a doubt, “yes I do look like my mom.” I have not contacted the other family since we met. I have no desire to do so. They had nothing but bad news to tell me and I had nothing in common with any of them. If they choose to contact me, I won’t deny them, but I won’t go out of my way. My birth mom was 22 years old and could have fought for me but she didn’t. She let her father run her life. I have 2 adults kids now 24 and 22 and I would have NEVER let someone just take them away. Adoption sucks in a lot of ways and is great in many others. But I know who I am and it isn’t HER. I am my mom and dad’s child and happier for knowing that.

    • Judith Land says:

      Thanks for sharing your story. Having a good family that was always there for you alleviates stress and provides a comforting sense of well-being like a warm cup of chicken soup. Your experiences have hardened you to the ways of the world and the psychology of human nature while making you wiser and more appreciative of the positive traits of others. You understand the profound, seek only goodness, and appreciate individuals who are virtuous. Family isn’t always blood. They are the people who embrace who you are now, and the person you want to be, based on mutual respect, love, patience, and forgiveness. Family watchs out for you in ways that no one else can. They are the people we build and maintain relationships with who allow us to be true to ourselves where the truth is upheld and promises are kept. Family is knowing that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us.

  8. Pingback: Adoption—can happiness be learned? | Adoption Detective | A True Story by Judith Land

  9. I have a problem with those who adopt & do not care to know the families they take the children from or the circumstances for which the child has been relinquished. Taking a child from a third party, or a mother who is being taken advantage of due to her economic situation disgusts me. Those who encourage separation of mother and child, just so they can build their own family, are not behaving Christ Like, I do not care how well they treat the child, they have abused, wounded, & committed a traumatic act.

    • Judith Land says:

      Psychological and sociological data is replete with information about the importance of maternal bonding and the terrible consequences when it is disrupted. Ethical issues arise in connection with the procurement of adoptable children, as well as their fair distribution. Orphaned, fostered and adopted children at the center of the debate have no authority to speak for themselves in a court of law—their life’s fortune resides entirely in the hands of strangers. Social workers, lawyers, politicians, churches, relatives, agencies, nurses, caregivers, clergy and do-gooders rush in to fill the void and speak for them, each outsider having a different stake in the outcome. Some actions are warranted, while others are nefarious by nature. The debate about what to do with orphaned children is far-reaching and international in scope. Adoption is one of the most contentious issues of modern society that rouses the passions of righteous individuals throughout the world. The plethora of divergent and clashing points of view about the fair and ethical distribution of abandoned children is an ongoing debate between countries, states, politicians, clergy and social groups. The wide diversity of opinions and conflicting stakes in the outcome is a struggle for power and domination. Solutions create arguments, fervency, polarized points of view, and foment anger leading to speculation and accusations about personal integrity. Divergent social and cultural outlooks give rise to both drama and fiction. The clash of conflicting philosophies, passions and diversity of judgments is a global struggle between “affairs of the heart” verses the “wisdom of the intellect”.

  10. This description fits me to a T. I am always looking, longing, wishing, hoping, dreaming… I am 44 and have met my families of origin. I tried to protect myself and hurt them in the process. It seems like its always on the adoptee. To please. To adapt. To fit. To self-soothe. To make others happy. To forget. To move on. To get over it. To hide. To seek. To always long for something that almost was but can never actually be. The face I still try to avoid in the mirror will never be who or what she was meant to be. I’ve lost more than I could ever find in the remainder of my life.

    • Judith Land says:

      Alicia: Adoption is an event that creates a serious disruption of a person’s beliefs about human nature and the randomness and order of the universe; an emotional occurrence with enduring consequences that adoptees have no control over, yet the outcome has profound aftereffects and significant implications to one’s values and eternal life. There is much at stake, yet no child is able to act on its own self-interest in any definitive way whatsoever—most are essentially powerless to alter life’s circumstances. Life is a struggle for adoptees who feel the plight of the refugee when there is no other recourse other than to quietly endure the interminable outcomes of the pivotal events in life over which they have no command. Trauma causes us to step back and re-evaluate our deepest motivations and convictions as we pass through each phase of the human life cycle. Each chapter of our life story has its own perception of humanity and at each subsequent stage we must learn that happiness is based more on internal, controllable values and less on the externalities of the ever-changing outside world. Regardless of the life phase you are in now, it really doesn’t take a full clinical analysis to correctly identify adoption as the underlying reason for: “looking, longing, wishing, hoping, and dreaming…” They are the same shared feelings and emotions that other adoptees experience. Flowers, sunshine, and good food can do a lot to help the soul. Just remember that life is like riding a bicycle—keep moving forward to maintain your balance.

  11. Lynne Miller says:

    Discovering that I was adopted at the age of 38 was stunning but also clarifying. As a child I never felt like I fit in and never bonded with my adoptive mother. She and I had nothing in common except, I thought, for our blood ties and of course that connection turned out to be non-existent. Feeling like an outsider in the family made sense when I realized I didn’t grow up with my natural family. Now I’ve learned who my original parents were and I’m in touch with some siblings and cousins. It’s a relief to know the truth.

    • Judith Land says:

      Dear Lynne, Wow! Learning about your true identity must have come as quite a shock. I am happy that knowing the truth has brought you relief. Many adoptees face a lifelong adjustment process between two shifting realities, a life “that is” and an imaginary world that, “could have been”. They have difficulty weighing the differences between the prosaic and unimaginative paint-by-numbers traditional role assigned to them by their adoptive families verses something unknown that is deeply profound, and mysteriously hidden within them. The mind drifts mercilessly between the two dueling worlds that are poles apart—rival domains in a clash between an inner dream world inspired by nostalgic yearnings for knowledge of ancestral roots, a true sense of self, and significant others who are missing, verses an external public persona of someone living a prosaic day-to-day existence that is conventional, lacking panache and unpoetic. They are forced into playing a role on the stage of life that isn’t really them—a matinee idol assigned the staring role as “the chosen one,” a lackluster existence for many adoptees that is overtly commonplace and a persistently banal day-to-day existence. I hope your future is filled with many good relationships, including a renewed appreciation for the positive things that happened in the past and an enduring optimism for the future. Judith

  12. Sean Llewellyn Mcrorie says:

    “They stand by the window forlornly looking through the pane (pain) on an overly melancholic kind of day, wondering if the raw feelings of spiritual emptiness that plagues their soul will ever wane”.

    I oh so remember this during most of my teen years…..I used to look out the window of different houses, and would think “I belong somewhere out there…but I dont know where”. And I was told to forget these thoughts, to be grateful to my adopted parents, and reminded how “bad” my mother had been to give me up…………………….the years have passed and I have progressed somewhat…..but I still have these thought of somewhere out there I belong.

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